The literary-philosophical works of Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) rank among the most quietly influential of the post-war era, though only since his death has Benjamin achieved the fame and critical currency outside his native Germany accorded him by a select few during his lifetime. Now he is widely held to have possessed one of the most acute and original minds of the Central European culture decimated by the Nazis.
Illuminations contains his two most celebrated essays, 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' and 'Theses on the Philosophy of History', as well as others on the art of translation, Kafka, storytelling, Baudelaire, Brecht's epic theatre, Proust and an anatomy of his own obsession, book collecting. The essay is Benjamin's domain; those collected in this now legendary volume offer the best possible access to his singular and significant achievement. In a stimulating introduction, Hannah Arendt reveals how Benjamin's life and work are a prism to his times, and identifies him as possessing the rare ability to think poetically.
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Review: Illuminations: Essays and ReflectionsUser Review - Claire Cray - Goodreads
Five years ago I discovered Walter Benjamin. I had never been much for theory before, and my initial encounter with his writing was sort of like one of those old 3D puzzle pictures: first, a dense ... Read full review
Review: Illuminations: Essays and ReflectionsUser Review - Eddy Allen - Goodreads
Studies on contemporary art and culture by one of the most original, critical and analytical minds of this century. Illuminations includes Benjamin's views on Kafka, with whom he felt the closest ... Read full review
Selected Writings: 1931 - 1934 / transl. by Rodney ..., Volume 2, Part 2
Limited preview - 2005